Tag Archives: social media

Prayer. Silence. Shhh.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, May 8, 2018

open hands

Prayer. Silence. Shhh.

What a stunning viewpoint on silence. Or, should I say, Silence?

Somehow, I feel as if this word ought to be capitalized. Father Nouwen makes such telling points on silence and the modern understanding of it. This little book was written in 1972, which is well over forty years ago. Fr. Nouwen talks about the clatter, banging, and constant noise of this modern time. Boy, can I relate.

I wonder what the good Father would have to say about 2018, the modern day in the western world? With all the technological updates and social media and the myriad of different choices in the way of accessing sound and video and recording of all different kinds…   Would this audio-visual kaleidoscope of noise, this cacophony of countless visual and audible selections, cause him to shun technology even more?

I remember I did not like being alone or in silence very long, when I was a teen. It got better in my twenties and thirties. Now, I enjoy it.

Oh, Father Nouwen, you seem to run toward silence with abandon. Nonetheless, you freely admit that “for many, silence is threatening. They don’t know what to do with it.” [1] Is silence truly a disappearing art? Is silence a fearful and terrifying thing, finally in its fearsome stages of existence?

The question forty years ago Fr. Nouwen wanted answered was, have people become alienated from silence? I consider it just as fair to ask what have the majority of people become addicted to?  Beyond random noise, to videos, blogs, vlogs, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, much less regular texting and instant messaging?

Dear God, save us from ourselves. Help me—help us to see that You thrive in the various sounds of silence just as much as in loud howls and yells, conversations, noisy trumpets, cymbals, honky-tonk pianos, drum sets, wailing guitars, and all the variety of electronic sounds and other forms of audio and visual input. Gracious God, thank You that You have given humanity the insight, ability, and ingenuity to come up with all of the constant sounds. Help us to quiet our insides just as much as the outside environment can be quietened. Thank You for this profound insight Fr. Nouwen brings to me today.



Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] With Open Hands: Bring Prayer into Your Life, Henri J. M. Nouwen (United States of America: Ave Maria Press, 1972), 16.

PEACE: Friendship and Love

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, April 7, 2016


PEACE: Friendship and Love

I’m coming to an end of another section of young people from St. Viator’s High School in Arlington Heights. Fascinating, energizing opportunity to talk with many young people and ask their personal viewpoints on PEACE.

Megan’s personal definition: “PEACE is international friendship.” 🙂

That was awesome. I wanted to know more. Megan replied, “International friendship to me is friendship over social media, over international borders. I feel the connection!” I asked whether she had lots of international friends, and she nodded, excited!

Such a wonderful way to communicate—instantly! And, with people from all over the world, too. I had an international pen pal when I was in grade school, but it took a long time for those blue air mail envelopes to wing their way back and forth. Much better and simpler, now.

Ally’s personal definition: “PEACE is giving unending love ❤ to one other.”


I asked her for more about that definition. She said, readily, “Loving one another, no matter what the circumstances. Love is the most important thing—no matter what.”

Ally, that is not only a marvelous sentiment, it’s what our Lord Jesus said, too. He told His disciples in the Upper Room Discourse to “love one another.” That is one of the final commands we have from our Lord.

If more people could love one another—no matter what—then there would be a great deal more peace in the world today.

Dear Lord, gracious God, You have heard all of our prayers for PEACE. Hearken to our prayers. Help us to live out PEACEFUL ideas. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE – Knowing Jesus is in Control

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, February 26, 2016


PEACE – Knowing Jesus is in Control

The last day of definitions from Bethesda Worship Center in Des Plaines, and the last day I would sincerely like to apologize. There was a malfunction with my digital camera. Sadly, I was unable to take photos of the dear folks in Des Plaines on Sunday. I do thank Pastor Chuck Reid for offering his smart phone as a last-minute replacement! (My advanced-beginner expertise with social media is showing … in that I couldn’t get the dratted thing to send photos!)

However, I persevere. So, this is the last day—and the last definition. Today’s personal view of PEACE comes from Barbara Reid, Pastor Chuck’s wife. Barbara’s personal definition of PEACE: “knowing Jesus is in complete control of my life.”

As I talked with Barbara, she gave me a great expansion on that definition. “Jesus is God in the flesh; Savior, Master, salvation. Knowing that He, the Author of peace, is in control of me and of my life? That is truly peace for me.”

Sister Barbara said so many excellent things. She gave several outstanding words and phrases to describe what PEACE is, for her. However, I would like to focus on her expression “Author of peace.” Barbara is quoting from 1 Corinthians 14. The apostle says, “God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.”

That is truly peace. Not confusion, not disorder, but instead peace and orderliness.

What sprang to my mind after that? Nature. The animal kingdom, and the plant kingdom. The order found there, which is so sensible. So structured. So logical.

Dear Lord, thank You for order. Thank You for making certain that people have both rhyme and reason to their lives, their purpose, their very souls. I praise Your name and Your wish to communicate Your love each and every day. Great is Your faithfulness and love!


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Day #23 – Social Media? Share, Like, Pray!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, March 16, 2015

PRAY talk to God often

Day #23 – Social Media? Share, Like, Pray!

Ooo, I could really sink my teeth into today’s suggestion! When on social media, paging through Facebook or scrolling down my Twitter feed, the suggestion is: pray!

Not as much with social media, but certainly with news stories? I have done this on a fairly regular basis, for years. Especially when I am confronted with a particularly horrific photo, or meaningful portrait, or heartrending narrative, I pray. Sometimes I even touch the photo or the words or names of those involved when I pray. And later, when I get up and go away from my computer, the images or names or situations come back to me. And, I pray some more.

To tell the truth, I’ve kept quiet about this aspect of my computer use. It wasn’t something I would trumpet about. Instead, for years, I liked the fact that it was a quiet ministry, an intimate connection that I made with these people and these situations. Sometimes they could be in different parts of the United States. Sometimes in different parts of the world. But every so often, I felt a visceral contact with a person far away.

So much is in the news today. From the cyclone Pam that devastated a Pacific archipelago to the skirmishes with the Islamic State in Iraq, and nearer to home, continued drug-fueled violence, new findings of racial inequality, and a hotly-contested mayoral election in Chicago. Much to pray about! And, sometimes, we just need to leave things in God’s hands.

As today’s post said so clearly, it does not matter whether we are praying for people who are happy or sad, whether our feelings are up or down, or whether we pray for our fellow social media “scrollers and trollers,”

The three suggestions at the end of today’s post are all excellent. Please, pick one of them. And from time to time—as you read social media, Twitter, look at photos on Facebook or Instagram, or read or watch the news—please, pray. God has promised to hear, to respond, to encourage, love, support and comfort. Thank God for that!


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Helping? Praying? Being There for My Friend!

Upon reflection, I thought this was such a wonderful post on prayer and meditation. It comes from my other blog–A Year of Being Kind. (Apologies to those who have seen it before.) I hope this post blesses many.

A Year of Being Kind

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, October 26, 2014

Centering-Prayer-hands holding candle

Helping? Being There for My Friend!

I have a friend who lives in a neighboring state. We recently had dinner when she was in Chicago for some business. We have gotten in the habit of having lively conversations over social media. It is so enjoyable! And I hope it’s mutually beneficial, as well.

My friend told me recently about a long, difficult day she had at work. On top of that, the situation at her home was not particularly peaceful. After the stressful day at work, of course she was anxious and frustrated. (I’ve been there, too—I know!) She gave me a play-by-play on her irritating home situation. And I commiserated. Good grief! I know how families can be sometimes.

I had a sudden thought. I asked my friend whether she wanted me to give her a brief meditation…

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